A FLOOD of funding continues at Bathurst Airport.
Having received more than $3 million last year alone - $2.8m from the NSW Government for improvements to taxiways and aprons and $500,000 from the Federal Government for a new taxiway and flood management works - the airport was announced as the beneficiary of another $300,000 on Thursday.
The money, from the Federal Government, will be used to reseal pavements and improve security access to the site.
Member for Calare Andrew Gee said Bathurst Airport is set to grow in importance as COVID changes the nation and new residents surge across the Blue Mountains.
"One of the revelations of COVID has been this great discovery of people, on the other side of the sandstone curtain, as to what lies in our region," he said.
"I think for many, many years, people have been ignorant about what Bathurst and other towns and cities in this area have to offer. And I think they've discovered it."
The current movement of people to the regions is the biggest since the gold rush of the 1850s, he said.
"What that tells you is that once COVID lifts, more people are going to be coming," he said.
"And we're going to have more people needing to use those air links, needing to use our regional airports, and they are just so vital for the continuing strength of our regional communities."
If the infrastructure bill at a regional airport gets away from a council, the facility can stop being viable very quickly, he said.
"Bathurst won't ever be in that position because, over the last few years, they've got a works program and they're always looking to meet that program," Mr Gee said.
"And whenever there's another opportunity there, they're always first in to get that funding application up and running."
Mayor Ian North pointed out the cracks in the tarmac which had been covered up over time.
"It [the tarmac] has done its job, it's done it for probably way too long," he said.
With modern flights coming in to Bathurst, he said "you've got to provide a modern facility".
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a net 43,000 Australians moved to the regions last year.
The pre-COVID forecast for the Bathurst region was for the population to grow by 20 per cent to an estimated 53,362 by 2036.